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Republican Historical Memory


Republicans just openly embracing the Confederacy as the only history that really matters to them is….completely unsurprising.

The House voted Thursday on a Republican amendment to restore Arlington National Cemetery’s Confederate Memorial. The century-old monument, which was removed in December, features an enslaved Black “mammy” holding the infant child of a White officer, as an enslaved Black man follows the officer off to war. The monument references the “Lost Cause,” a mythology about the Civil War era favored by apologists for the Confederacy.

The amendment, sponsored by Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.), did not pass, but it got very strong support in the House GOP conference. While 24 Republicans voted against restoring the monument, 192 voted in favor — nearly 89 percent of voting Republicans.

Of course, Republicans are getting worse on this issue as they go full fascist.

The latest vote is also significant because of who voted in favor of the Confederate symbol: Republican leaders.

Back in 2016, then-House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and other Republican leaders allowed the vote over objections from many members. Ryan, House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and GOP Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) all voted in favor of removing the Confederate flag from some federal graveyards.

McCarthy and Scalise also voted in favor of removing the Confederate statues from the Capitol after Floyd’s murder, with McCarthy spinning the move thusly: “All of the statues being removed by this bill are statues of Democrats.” (The South was dominated by Democrats during Civil War times; it’s now overwhelmingly Republican.)

But on Thursday, among those voting in favor of restoring the Confederate Memorial at Arlington were every single top House GOP leader, including Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) and Scalise, who is now House majority leader.

Naturally, this is happening at the local level too.

The Shenandoah County School Board in Virginia will restore the names of Confederate generals Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Turner Ashby to two local schools. The controversial reversal comes nearly four years after the names were changed.

Mountain View High School will revert to its former name, Stonewall Jackson High School, and Honey Run Elementary School will go back to being Ashby-Lee Elementary School.

The board approved the change by a 5-1 vote, with supporters saying the Confederate figures’ names had been taken off the schools in 2020 in a “knee-jerk” reaction amid protests of George Floyd’s murder by police. But opponents — including some current students — warned the board that the Confederate names would brand the schools and their county as a haven for backward, racist thinking.

Heritage, not hate!

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